Thursday, February 09, 2012
The Artisan Group is proud to announce this week's Artist Spotlight feature is one of our talented artisan jewelry members, Melissa Arnold!
We caught up with Melissa and asked her a few questions about her unique Steampunk vintage-style jewelry line, and her experiences so far working with TAG. Here's what she said:
- Tell us a little bit about your shoppe. Sahetah’s Jewelry was in the womb of creation as I visited Nova Scotia in 2009. I found that I was inspired by all the Artists showcasing their work in shops, and along harbours. Nova Scotia was so rich with talent; I have never seen so much handmade art in one place. Over three weeks my family and I visited each town along the coast line. It was like exploring for treasure. I bought beautiful photography of some of the gorgeous landscapes from the local photographers, and a glass prism of sand, beach pebbles and pearls. Suddenly I asked myself, “Why have I not put my artistic talent to use?” I was a full time caregiver struggling with low income and high debt, and so I then realized if I can’t work outside the home, I can work inside the home. I was just craving to do something with my time that was worthwhile.
With a history of horticulture courses in school and working at a flower shop, it was not surprising my work turned into more whimsical jewelry incorporating flowers and nature. By the spring of 2012, my designs begun to revolve around vintage styles with hand-dyed and airbrushed Lucite flowers that I sometimes call 'fairy jewelry'. The sci-fi girl in me wanted to explore even further into fantasy, and I begun designing what I call ‘feminine Steampunk’ necklaces.
- What is your favorite product in your shoppe and why? Currently, my favourite has to be the Andromeda Necklace I recently designed. Out of my entire collection of Feminine Steampunk necklaces, I have found this necklace to be the most enchanting. It reminds me of the Amazon women of many years ago. Currently it is displayed above my work desk, beside Squirrely (a raccoon stuffed toy I bought from the Toronto Zoo who occasionally sits on my laptop to do my work for me when I need a break).
- When you're not handcrafting your Steampunk jewelry line, what are your hobbies? Most of the day is revolved around work in some way. If I’m not working, I’m probably with my grandfather. I joke with him and take him out often. My goal is to make him laugh often, so everything I do with him I try to do in some sort of amusing way to break his cycle of depression. When I take a break I feel like I need to be working or I’m being lazy. Having an awesome German Shepherd as a companion means I’m forced to set time aside for her. She is ever so patient and loving, willing to wait for me to finish work before I go outside and play with her. Once a month I’ll visit my aunt who I once lived with, but I’ll often bring work with me and help my cousin with her confidence and jewelry business of her own. Once a year I participate in National Novel Writing Month (Nanowrimo) where thousands of people in November try to write a 50,000 word (or longer) novel within 30 days. Every other day I’m heading into Toronto to attend writing sessions inside coffee shops. This past November in 2011 proved to be a very busy month as I was also preparing 100 gifts for the celebrity swag bags for GBK’s Golden Globes Gift Lounge with The Artisan Group.
- What do you like best about The Artisan Group? The group’s members are a collection of wonderful people. The members are eager to help each other, regardless if you are a new or seasoned business owner. The group’s goal is to help grow your business and share each other’s knowledge to help you get your business out there. I love that the group is so friendly, close-knit and eagerly welcomes new members. That’s what I truly love most about the group – the people. I truly admire them. When a tragedy hits a member of the group, I’ve never witnessed a group rally together with such strength and determination to give them aid and support. It was truly touching to see and be a part of.
The Artisan Group is truly the most wonderful group I’ve ever been a part of, and I’m always proud to say “I’m a member of The Artisan Group!”
The Artisan Group is an elite collective of artists who gift their handcrafted products to celebrities at Hollywood's top gift lounges.